All posts by Kimberly Brisky

If Disaster Strikes, Do You Have a Backup Strategy for your Business?

By: 1242

How to plan a reliable backup strategy for your business
Contributed By: MXOtech, INC

In the event of security breaches or natural disasters that could disrupt your day-to-day operations, all small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should have a reliable disaster and backup recovery plan (DRP). When disaster strikes, how can you ensure that business continues as usual?

  1. Backup speed

Backup speed refers to how quickly your system backs up or saves data. The first complete backup is expected to take a bit of time, because you’re migrating all your data, but subsequent backups shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. In fact, your backup should be barely noticeable by the end users. Look for solutions that don’t cause network slowness which will negatively affect user experience and productivity.

  1. Recovery Time

If something happens, how much time does it take to get your systems up and running again? Recovery time objective (RTO) is the ideal time by which systems should be restored after a catastrophe. The quicker your RTO is, the better, because losing time means losing money.

When you set your RTO, you also need to consider your recovery point objective (RPO), or the minimum data you need to restore so you can resume normal business operations. Usually, this means most critical apps or data. You don’t necessarily need to recover everything at once; you just have to retrieve the essential files or software first.

  1. Reliability

Reliability means your backup DRP will work every single time. The only way to ensure this is to have an infallible infrastructure that can support your strategic plan. SMBs might find that the cost of purchasing and maintaining their own high-quality hardware and software for backup and recovery can be high and require special expertise. In those cases, they can opt to partner with a reputable managed services provider (MSP) that specializes in business continuity.

  1. Simplicity

Your DRP should be easy to implement. If it’s too complicated, it will take longer to execute and leave more room for human error. An effective backup strategy is clear cut and easy to follow: all personnel involved can easily explain and act out their role in the plan.

  1. Cost efficiency

Here are some costs involved in rolling out a DRP:

  • File storage costs — the cost of buying hardware and software to house your data
  • Maintenance costs — the combined cost of maintaining and protecting your data
  • Upgrade costs — the cost of scaling up your storage and/or fortifying your security

If you’re asking, “Is it worth it?” then your plan isn’t cost effective. Apply the concept of tiered retention, or the system of keeping data based on their importance. You don’t need to store all your data forever: some data get outdated, and some data have negligible impact on your business. By choosing only the necessary data to replicate, encrypt, or archive, you can save on costs.

MXOtech is a technology consulting company that delivers Managed IT Services, Custom Web Application Development and System Integrations. Started in 2005, and built on the core values of clarity, inspiration, trust and accountability, MXOtech works every day to help their clients use technology to grow their businesses.

SBAC Hosts Chciago Mayoral Candidate Forum

By: 1242

The SBAC, along with a robust coalition of Chambers of Commerce and business associations, were proud to host the Chicago Small Business Mayoral Candidate Forum today. With more than 200 attendees on hand, it was the only opportunity to hear the candidates respond directly to questions about the issues impacting the small business community.

“The Mayoral candidates have participated in many events across the city, but this was a unique forum where they were asked specific questions about their plans to support small and local businesses throughout Chicago.” said Elliot Richardson, Founder and President of the SBAC. “The packed house and high energy in the room is a testament how the small business community has the ability to create critical mass and advocate with a strong voice.”

While all candidates on the ballot were invited, in attendance were Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti, John Kozlar, Lori Lightfoot, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson.  A full video of the discussion can be viewed below.


Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Chamber of Commerce, Edgebrook Sauganash Chamber of Commerce, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Garfield Park Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, Illinois Sign Association, International Sign Association, Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, Little Village Chamber of Commerce, Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, Northcenter Chamber of Commerce, Old Town Merchants & Residents Association, Rogers Park Business Alliance, Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Advocacy Council, South East Chicago Commission, South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Uptown United/Uptown Business Partners and West Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

SBAC-Backed Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit Introduced in IL Senate

By: 1242

Big news! A key bill in the SBAC’s state advocacy agenda was introduced in the Senate! State Senator Heather Steans (D) dropped SB1232, the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit on February 6th.

According to the Small Business Administration, in 2018, Illinois small businesses employed 2.5 million people or 45.5% of the private workforce. Encouraging job growth to our state’s largest economic contributor is vital to ensure economic growth in the state. Under the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit Act, businesses with under 50 employees qualified for a tax credit for each new job created. Because of sunset legislation, this law expired and needs to be reenacted. We encourage Springfield to bring back this widely used program and are excited to build momentum for this important initiative.

Right Way Signs Makes Chicago Tribune List of Amazing Murals

By: 1242

Congratulations to SBAC Member, Right Way Signs Chicago, for being recognized in the Chicago Tribune’s Amazing Chicagoland Wall Murals list. The highlighted work is a mural of Abraham Lincoln at the Hotel Lincoln in Lincoln Park.

According to a blog featured on the Right Way Signs website:

The hand painted mural of President Lincoln measured 8 stories high or 80′ tall by 40′ wide. The project started in November with an average temperature of 30 degrees and took 10 gallons of paint and 5 weeks to complete.

Check out their blog for more pictures of the process and finished product.


SBAC Member Double Good Featured on the Today Show!

By: 1242

ICYMI – Double Good, an SBAC Premier Advocate Member, was featured this week on the Today Show for a segment titled, Food for Thought.

According to a recap on the Double Good website

The segment featured some incredible non-profit organizations we work with, like Rhythm Works and The Transition Center; an interview with our buddy Izzy Paskowitz of Surfers Healing; and a shout out to the Benson Bruins Jr Football League, who sold more than $24,000 in their first Double Good fundraiser.

But more than anything, this segment was about you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has ever fundraised with us or bought popcorn.

You are the reason we exist.

Congrats to Double Good for this awesome recognition! You can view the full segment here.

Next Level Networking and Advocacy with the SBAC

By: 1242

The mission of the SBAC – providing networking, non-partisan advocacy and educational programs for the small business community in Illinois – is only possible because of the commitment of our amazing members.

Did you know that in addition to the standard membership, the SBAC offers the opportunity to take your commitment to the next level by becoming a Premier Advocate?

As a Premier Advocate, you can expect all the great benefits of a regular SBAC membership plus:

  • Exclusive access to an updated Premier Advocate directory
  • Monthly email updates from SBAC staff and leadership
  • Monthly invitation-only events including great speakers, networking and the chance to go behind the scenes at locations throughout Chicagoland
  • The opportunity to produce original content and be highlighted on the SBAC News blog and social media platforms
  • Company name/logo/link inclusion in email newsletters to the full membership
  • Receive personalized SBAC drafted content to share with your customers and clients all the hard work you are doing for the small business community
  • Special nametags and recognition at all SBAC events

Interested in learning more? Contact Kim Brisky at or visit our membership page.

Overcoming Fear of Rejection: How to Break Barriers and Achieve Success

By: 1242

No one wants to fail, but are you letting that impact how you run your business? Join the SBAC Women in Business Group on February 6th for a great opportunity to network and learn. This luncheon will feature a presentation titled, “Overcoming Fear of Rejection: How to Break Barriers and Achieve Success.”

11:30 am – 11:45 am – Open Networking
11:45 am – 12:00 pm – Table introductions
12:00 pm – 12:10 pm – Introductions
12:10 pm – 12:50 pm – Speaker Presentations
12:50 pm – 01:00 pm – Open Networking

Men and women are both welcome to attend and your meal is included in the ticket price.

Space is limited and prices go up at the door, so be sure to register today!

SBAC Hosting Chicago Mayoral Forum on Small Business Issues

By: 1242

The Small Business Advocacy Council, along with a robust coalition of Chambers of Commerce and business associations, is hosting the Chicago Small Business Mayoral Candidate Forum to hear from the candidates for Mayor on how they intend to empower small businesses across the city of Chicago. The forum will be an exclusive opportunity for business owners to hear from the candidates on issues that impact their businesses on a daily basis. The forum will begin promptly at 8:00 AM and candidates will be given a few minutes for introductions follow by questions asked by the moderator. This is a forum and not a debate, where candidates will be asked to refrain from engaging with one another on stage. Following the event, we will have a candidate meet and greet located in the Carbon Arc Bar located in the theater. Attendees are invite to stay around to talk to the candidates and campaigns during that time.

On the registration page, attendees are invited to submit a question to be asked of the candidates. We ask that your questions relate to small business issues. Due to the high volume of expect questions we will not be able to ask all questions submitted.

Please note, the SBAC is a nonpartisan organization. We do not endorse any candidates for political office and the forum we provide is intended to be an education opportunity for the residents of Chicago.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

SBAC Expands Footprint in Central Illinois

By: 1242

Last month, SBAC Founder & President, Elliot Richardson was the keynote at the Economic Vision Luncheon hosted by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.

After great presentation to a full room, Elliot, was interviewed by WGLT Radio in Bloomington-Normal, and spoke about fair maps, workers’ compensation, pension reform and engaging with the incoming Pritzker Administration. You can read the coverage and hear the full interview here.

(Photo credit MARY CULLEN / WGLT)